What is an executive principal? I will let you know at the end of this school year. Since we had success with our blended learning model, extended day and character development, we said – why can’t we do it again? Large districts create changes in broad strokes. With all the positive intentionality, they will devise a plan that impacts all schools. The challenge is not all schools are the same. Principals are expected to carry out the mission of the district while managing a high number of individuals. Teachers are given a few days to learn the new curriculum, yet still, meet the individual needs of all of the students that walk into their classrooms. Most importantly, every child that walks into the school has his or her individual needs. With a large number of variables, how is it possible for us to differentiate the needs of every child.
We hope by working in a smaller organization, we will be able to make necessary changes in a group of schools. An Innovative Management Organization (IMO) will allow us to share resources across both schools and carry out the same mission. As districts lean towards building leadership capacity, why not allow teachers and administrators career opportunities to work within the same organization and expand their impact.
Five things you will need to consider to set up an IMO.
- Mission/Vision – Have a clear idea of where you want to go as a smaller organization. This year, our team spent time on what makes us unique and why we want to replicate. The number one thing we found was maintaining a positive school culture.
- Model – Brand your model by identifying what makes the school unique as an organization. With the increase in competition, we can no longer sit and wait; we have to have a brand to bring students to the school.
- Define the Roles- When you create a new role, you have to take into consideration the impact it will have on other roles. We created shared positions that include operations, academics, and strategic leadership. We plan to narrow the job focus for each member of the organization.
- Right People – It is important to have the right people onboard. Not everyone has the innovative mindset to look at the job differently. With the right people, you can build capacity and work as a team to make a positive impact.
- Flexible Funding and Support – Clear structures are crucial. Without structures, you will go back to the same old model. Just like Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Finally, we have received a lot of attention on our model because everyone is looking for successful models for the students that we serve. In my new role as the executive principal, I will oversee two schools, and with a clear direction, defined roles, the right people, and definitive structures in place, we are confident it will be a success. I will keep you posted.